Of course, it was the smoking that killed her

H/T Magnetic, I’ve been looking at SmokeFreeNOLA on Facebook. It was created on 15 October 2014, and swung into action on 19 November 2014, the day before LaToyah Cantrell called for a complete smoking ban in New Orleans.

I started out thinking it was all pretty slickly and professionally done – until I spotted the typo in the banner on their Facebook page. At which point it ceased to seem either slick or professional.

And I’ve been mulling over this photo on their Facebook page:

This is such a horrible, contrived, fake picture.

Thing is with these prohibitionists (for that is what they are) is that once they’ve got their NOLA smoking ban enacted, they’ll be starting on alcohol. And food.

And Christmas as well. Because Christmas (and all things Christian) are under attack as well these days. And so the Santa hats will have to go. And the witches’ pointy hats too.

And most likely make-up and pretty frocks on the girls.

And music.

And dancing.

And parties.

And, well, fun of any sort whatsoever.

Same with this photo from their Facebook page:

nola-cocktail

 

Because you sort of know that when these guys are in control, all those bottles on the shelves at the back are going to vanish. And so is the bar. And the bartender is going to have to slim down, and attend compulsory gym classes – and get another job.

Because the Big Lie is that they’re only against tobacco. When actually they’re against everything.

They’re engaged in an all-out cultural war on absolutely everything.

In passing I came across a translation of an interview with antismoking historian Robert Proctor:

You have been working for many years with the tobacco industry. How did that come about?

Almost everyone knows at least someone who has died because of tobacco use. For me, three of my grandparents died of it – from cancer, heart attack and emphysema. This has influenced me. Absurdly story was told in my family for many years that, had died of too many eggs consumed a grandfather, who died at age 55 of a heart attack. He was a heavy chain smoker. The potential danger of cholesterol from eggs is out of proportion to the load.

Isn’t that amazing? His three grandparents all died of completely different diseases, but they were all caused by smoking. He dismisses as absurd the family story that he ate too many eggs. But isn’t the idea that smoking killed him just as absurd?

It reminds me of a funeral I attended 20 or 30 years ago. An old lady had fallen out of bed and broken her leg. She died in hospital two days later. Nevertheless, at the funeral, her antismoking son declared:

“Of course, it was the smoking that killed her.”

And he would have probably said the same even if she’d been hit by a truck, catapulted into a river, and eaten by a school of piranha.

“Of course, it was the smoking that killed her.”

And I don’t know anyone who has died “because of tobacco use.” I don’t know anyone who has died of custard use either. Or cream bun use. Or chocolate mint humbug use.

I guess I must be lucky.

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About Frank Davis

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63 Responses to Of course, it was the smoking that killed her

  1. Scott Ewing says:

    Planning on my Christmas party this Saturday. Planning for about 100 people at my house. $500 for food. $500 for beer/booze. 10 ashtrays. That might seem like not enough ashtrays but 30% of my friends smoke, and the rest aren’t brainwashed automatons.

  2. beobrigitte says:

    There’ll be lots of smoke-free fun this holiday season. Who’s planning to attend or host a smoke-free Christmas party?

    Smoke-free fun???? How come our work Christmas parties no longer happen? Up until 2007 it was our department’s Christmas party every other department wanted to party with. Then came the smoking ban….

    The last Christmas party for our department was held in private; at a non-smoker’s house, the host proudly presented ASHTRAYS he managed to get….

    The anti-smokers’ wet dream: a smoke-free Christmas party. No-one goes there.

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    And on the other side of the pond and mountains Harley done caught the FLU. Hit me about 3pm called the docs and he said we got ourselves an Epidemic. Real not made up. This is where public health should be taking care of communicable diseases. I think they create them to cause diseases and then use the outcomes to increase their smoking related diseases numbers with!

    Id go out killing the bastards if I ever found out they did.

    • Joe L. says:

      Harley, it sounds like you’ve come down with a case of smoker’s flu. Studies suggest it’s caused by a combination of first-, second-, third-, and fourth-hand smoke. Stay away from restaurants, bars, parks, doorways, America, the U.K., Australia, Russia, Brazil, and pretty much everywhere else I didn’t mention.

      Seriously, though, get well soon!

  4. Smoking Lamp says:

    Many more people smoke than claim to in surveys. The best indicator is the curb outside bars, restaurants and sports venues which are always packed with smokers. The outside patios that still exist are another indicator. The problem is the Antismoker movement fuels fear. People are afraid to stand up because they may be denied health insurance or a job. And of course the propaganda says smoking kills and is the cause of all disease. Second and third hand smoke inside and out is a violent threat to all. Sadly people believe this. The haven’t taken the time to read the Tobacco Control blueprint and watch the propaganda build and support itself on past half truths.

    New Orleans is now the contested battleground of the assault against smokers, freedom, and property rights. The proposed NOLA ban pretends to be a grass roots effort to help protect the health of hospitality workers. Sounds good except that environmental tobacco smoke does not pose the extreme risk asserted on the Tobacco Control websites. The claims are amplified. They are designed to instill fear and foster social control. The architects directing the initiative from secret global FCTC meetings that exclude the public and media. (I know it sounds like a conspiracy theory — the problem is it is an actual conspiracy. Smoking rates did not fall quickly enough and the fiction of second hand smoke was adopted. False or at best misleading studies were used to start the band wagon rolling and soon the call is get on the band wagon before you’re left out.)

    The losers in NOLA will be the hospitality workers as that 20-25% of smokers stop or reduce going to bars. Indeed if you can’t smoke in the CBD, Frenchmans, or the Quarter maybe they’ll just stay home. Some conferences will go elsewhere. yes there will still be some business, but if you can’t even sip your coffee on the sidewalk in front of Community Coffee I suspect they will opt to ho to Nashville or Vegas instead.

    Clearly New Orleans business owners know this. So do the casino operators (who have seen casino revenues drop in Atlantic City, Macao, and all the say with bans (that’s why there is a move fro gaming patios at mid-Western casinos).

    Now a NOLA Councilmember is starting to question t(or at least seeks to temper the proposed ban: “District C City Councilmember Nadine Ramsey — whose district covers the Vieux Carre — already is moving to exempt some businesses in the Quarter from Cantrell’s measure, with mixed success. Read the article “Ramsey moves to exempt some businesses from proposed smoking ordinance” http://www.bestofneworleans.com/blogofneworleans/archives/2014/12/16/ramsey-moves-to-exempt-some-businesses-from-proposed-smoking-ordinance at Gambit: the Best of New Orleans blog. When you do you will see from Cantrell’s comments within (she was quoted) that she is confident that she is in control.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      When you do you will see from Cantrell’s comments within (she was quoted) that she is confident that she is in control

      That’s in the handbook even when your battle is lost act as though your winning.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Lets put it this way,if they lose in NOLA the repercussions will be felt I believe worldwide.

        • Smoking Lamp says:

          That goes both ways! This is the main game right now. It is an opportunity to expose the false Tobacco Control data on environmental smoke indoors and out.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Agreed and NOLA msm let us actually battle it out and they lost…………Why would they let us battle it out when before they protected the junk science like a guard at Ft Knox.

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    It appears things aren’t as lovey dovey as the Nazis in NOLA make out

    Ramsey moves to exempt some businesses from proposed smoking ordinance

    bestofneworleans.com (blog)

    Next month, the New Orleans City Council will begin to dissect a new ordinance that could drastically limit where smoking is allowed in New Orleans.

    Next month, the New Orleans City Council will begin to dissect a new ordinance that could drastically limit where smoking is allowed in New Orleans. As written, District B City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell’s ordinance bans smoking (and using any tobacco products) from within 25 feet of businesses — including bars and other smoke-friendly businesses. Opponents of the ordinance say it could cause a logistical nightmare, particularly in the business-dense French Quarter, where many doorways are within 25 feet of the one next door.

    District C City Councilmember Nadine Ramsey — whose district covers the Vieux Carre — already is moving to exempt some businesses in the Quarter from Cantrell’s measure, with mixed success.

    Last week, the City Planning Commission denied Ramsey’s motion to request that the city’s Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) create a new definition of a “tobacco retail business” in the Vieux Carre. The motion defined a tobacco retail business as any business where “the sales of tobacco products and accessories (for on-premises consumption)” accounts for 70 percent of its revenue, where “alcoholic beverages and/or food products are sold or served for consumption on premises, but where neither live entertainment nor gambling are provided,” and “where package liquor products are not advertised or off the premises or in any place visible from the exterior of the premises.”

    It makes the distinction between, say, a bar or a convenience store selling cigars (which is defined as a retail business) from the French Quarter’s cigar bars — currently, the CZO lumps smoking lounges in the same category as cocktail lounges.

    Ramsey’s motion also recommended making tobacco retail businesses allowable as a conditional use in the VCC-2 district — where cocktail lounges are prohibited. City Planning was concerned that cocktail lounges could circumvent the zoning restriction by acting as a “smoking lounge.” City Planning also said those are “similar enough in operational density” that they should retain the same zoning restrictions.

    The City Planning Commission denied Ramsey’s motion, though it did support reclassification in theory — the licensing, however, would also have to change. (The Department of Finance currently doesn’t make the distinction of smoking lounge or cocktail lounge.)

    But on Dec. 11, Ramsey made a last-minute request to overrule City Planning’s recommendation, in order to avoid a motion-killing deadline. City Council voted 5-0 to approve the motion, though not without some hesitation. “Given the ordinance to end smoking in bars and casinos,” said District A Councilwoman Susan Guidry, “this kind of flies in the face of that.”

    Guidry — who is co-sponsoring Cantrell’s measure — added that she was “not comfortable with the lack of time to review this.”

    “My staff has talked to Councilmember Cantrell,” Ramsey said, adding that council will hold public hearings and “work with her to ensure the language will correspond with her no smoking ban.”

    Guidry said that Ramsey’s motion still wouldn’t address the health of workers “who are nonsmokers and subject to smoke,” one of the primary reasons Cantrell introduced the non-smoking measure.

    “I’m very cautious of moving forward,” Cantrell told Ramsey. “However, I also am reassured by you and your staff that we will deal with this at the ordinance phase to ensure there’s no conflict with the proposed smoking ordinance, even as we look at cigar establishments, where its a primary business and not a bar. I will support this moving forward so it will not die, only in hopes that we will work out text appropriately.”

    On Jan. 7, City Council’s Community Development Committee is expected to discuss Cantrell’s smoking measure.

    .

    Tags: Nadine Ramsey, LaToya Cantrell, Susan Guidry, smoking ordinance, New Orleans, City Planning Commission, Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, CZO, Image

    http://www.bestofneworleans.com/blogofneworleans/archives/2014/12/16/ramsey-moves-to-exempt-some-businesses-from-proposed-smoking-ordinance

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Guidry — who is co-sponsoring Cantrell’s measure — added that she was “not comfortable with the lack of time to review this.”

      Sounds like her only real support is getting nervous about all of it

    • carol2000 says:

      What do you mean, things aren’t “lovey dovey” for the anti-smokers? Those exemptions are always made to buy support for their law. They’ll remove those exemptions later, of course. The bums who get the exemptions are selling us out, and surrendering essential liberties in exchange for temporary security.

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    Pima supervisors delay action on smoking, land issues

    A disagreement between Pima County and the developers of Star Valley, a housing project southwest of Tucson, will continue into 2015.

    The board sought legal advice on the issue in an executive session during its Tuesday meeting. The board of supervisors, Pima County, County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry and Supervisor Sharon Bronson are among those named in the suits. The board approved joint legal representation of all parties.

    The conflict is rooted in a disagreement between the county and the developers regarding who is responsible for road and other infrastructure near the project.

    The developers have filed several lawsuits against the county, including a personal lawsuit filed by Joseph Cesare, a partner in the company building up the area. Cesare’s lawsuit alleged Bronson, Huckelberry and Pima County’s actions amount to revenge and retaliation.

    In August, the Pima County Board of Supervisors began the process of stripping the plat from part of the development, which is located near West Valencia and South Wade roads. The plat determines boundaries and other important markers. Without it, the developers would have a difficult time building anything on the land.

    However a final decision to abandon the area’s plat was delayed until next year because “discussions continue with the developer/owner,” according to a memo from Huckelberry.

    The item was one of six the board postponed acting on until 2015. Another was a decision on a contentious policy that would bar smokers from Pima County jobs.

    The county estimates 32 percent of its employees are tobacco users who cost the health-care system more money than non-smokers.

    The proposed policy would ban the hiring of anyone who could not prove they were tobacco free for the last 12 months. Smokers who already work for the county would have to pay an additional 30 percent surcharge on their health insurance.

    Despite the vote’s delay, several speakers voiced their opposition to the policy during call to the public. Most expressed a concern that the policy could lead to discrimination against people who are obese, have other health conditions, drink alcohol or eat unhealthy foods.

    “Adults have the option to eat white bread or meat or lasagna or burritos,” said Christopher Cole, during call to the audience. “It shouldn’t be the government’s responsibility to coerce people into doing something that the government thinks is noble and pure and moral or whatever.”

    The board voted 4-1 to continue the item during the Feb. 10 meeting. Supervisor Ally Miller was the dissenting vote. The first meeting in the new year will be Jan. 6 at 9 a.m.
    http://tucson.com/news/government-and-politics/pima-supervisors-delay-action-on-smoking-land-issues/article_b7838d62-8582-11e4-9dcc-3b86858d3ec2.html

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Most expressed a concern that the policy could lead to discrimination against people who are obese, have other health conditions, drink alcohol or eat unhealthy foods.

      So some think a ban is discrimination obviously

      • Joe L. says:

        It seems like more and more people are slowly beginning to recognize that these bans are really about lifestyle conformity. This is encouraging.

  7. smokervoter says:

    Back to the Machievallian ‘politics of smoking’ aspect of the NOLA proposal.

    Some more back-of-the-envelope political handicapping of the New Orleans council makeup and possible Smoking Ban outcome from a Cali hayseed who has never been east of the Rocky Mountains and who knows absolutely nothing firsthand about the Big Easy.

    From left to right as per Mag’s Link showing the current New Orleans Council. http://www.louisianaweekly.com/n-o-mayor-council-are-sworn-in/

    Nadine Ramsey – An environmentalist who will buy into the toxic chemicals in passive smoke argument 110%. After a very tight primary (24 votes!) she then won handily in the run-off. Ever so slight smoker backlash political liability. Yes vote Update: Well, shut my mouth! What the hell would I know anyway?

    Jason Williams – For the Children guy. Close primary contest where smoker backlash would have counted. Crushed opponent in at-large run-off. Up and comer for eventual Mayor post. Any future mayoral candidate has got to think about the power of between 33,000-38,000 New Orleans smoking voters. Therefor some smoker backlash political liability. Yes vote.

    Stacey Head – Top at-large vote-getter. It would have required a 54% shift by smokervoters to the 2nd place finisher for her to lose. A bit of a maverick and the closest thing to a right-of-centre pol there is in NOLA. Probable Yes vote, but slight chance of No.

    Jared Brosset (at the back). For the Children guy but likes jazz music. Might not want to see police resources wasted ticketing smokers. Involved in very tight primary race in District D. A 28% smokervoter shift would have done him in. Moderate smoker backlash political liability. Slight possibility of No vote.

    James Gray II. Not as much of a wildcard as I initially thought. Major league For the Children guy. After coming in 2nd in a close primary he won the run-off 58%-42%. However, a 35% shift in smokervoters (602 votes to be exact) would have sunk him. Low-moderate smoker backlash political liability. Yes vote.

    Guidry and Cantrell, obviously Yes votes.

    Gut feeling. Unanimous 7-0 Yes. Maybe: 6-1 Yes (Brosset NO). Best case of a bad prognosis: 5-2 Yes. Stacey Head and Brosset NO. Update: 4-3 ??? still Yes nonetheless.

    [This might help. Frank]

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Problem with NOLA is since Katrina much of the population never came back………….

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      I think it is perhaps 4-3 now. But that can change. This is decisive for all US and beyond. Somehow have to get NOLA voters mobilized. The bar owners can yield influence. The key is to knock down the false SHS meme and emphasize choice. Otherwise there will be a lot of smoke-free but unemployed bartenders and wait staff. I think I’ll tip a bit more these days, they’re going to need the slush fund.

  8. smokervoter says:

    By the way, there’s a real paucity of internet info on that 2014 council race. Finding a simple straightforward breakdown of the final tally was like pulling teeth. I got the impression from Ballotpedia that Cantrell ran unopposed in the District B run-off. Au contraire, she squeaked by opponent Dana Kaplan by 700 votes. An 18% shift of the likely smoking vote (just 351 to be exact) would have done her in. Major smoker backlash political liability!

    Cantrell smokes, but only the green, psychotropic variety

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Not a surprising win, considering that Cantrell took the most votes in the primary campaign (around 39-percent). However, it is hard to remember that there was a brief time that Cantrell was doubted to continue her campaign (remember back to husbands, dropped items, and something that rhymes with “sara-juana”).

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    This one really bites and I don’t see it living very long. It shows the final solution

    http://www.wptz.com/news/smoking-ban-takes-effect-at-midnight/30266982?absolute=true

    has comments

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    Federal Judge: Obama Immigration Actions Unconstitutional

    federal judge today ruled that President Obama’s executive actions on immigration are unconstitutional—the first time a court has weighed in since the president’s Nov. 20 announcement.

    “President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional,” wrote U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Schwab, in a 38-page opinion.


    President Obama’s immigration action “violates the separation of powers,” a district judge declared.

    Schwab, an appointee of President George W. Bush, issued the ruling in a criminal case that was not a direct challenge to Obama’s moves.

    The case involved a once-deported Honduran immigrant, Elionardo Juarez-Escobar, charged in federal court with illegally re-entering the United States after being arrested earlier this year in Pennsylvania for drunk driving.

    The court only considered Obama’s immigration policy changes in sentencing Juarez-Escobar to see if he could qualify for deferred deportation under the president’s new enforcement guidelines.

    Last month, Obama acted alone to shield up to 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation.

    >>>What You Need to Know About Obama’s Executive Move on Immigration

    The administration used the legal argument that the chief executive has “prosecutorial discretion” to decide when to enforce criminal infractions, including illegal immigration.

    Schwab argues that Obama’s actions go “beyond” prosecutorial discretion by lumping a broad group of people into one case.

    Schwab wrote:

    President Obama’s executive action goes beyond prosecutorial discretion because: (a) it provides for a systematic and rigid process by which a broad group of individuals will be treated differently than others based upon arbitrary classifications, rather than case-by-case examination; and (b) it allows undocumented immigrants, who fall within these broad categories, to obtain substantive rights.

    There are more cases pending that more directly challenge Obama’s actions.

    Twenty-four states have filed suit questioning the legality of Obama’s policy reforms.

    The states, led by Texas, charge that Obama violated his constitutional duty to enforce the laws and illegally placed new strains on state budgets.

    Today, 27 Republican congressmen, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, filed an amicus brief in support of the states
    http://dailysignal.com/2014/12/16/federal-judge-obama-immigration-actions-unconstitutional/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

  11. Furor Teutonicus says:

    XX And so the Santa hats will have to go. And the witches’ pointy hats too.

    And most likely make-up and pretty frocks on the girls.

    And music.

    And dancing.

    And parties. XX

    A list that could have been drawn up by ISIS!

  12. prog says:

    My mother died in 1994 (aged 76) – 35 years after she stopped smoking. The PM found hardened arteries and her doctor told my sister, a diehard anti, that smoking had (more or less) killed her.

    • Rose says:

      Well thanks to anti-tobacco, that was the thinking of the day and true believers can’t refuse a chance to preach however inappropriate the timing might be.

      Due to modern discoveries we now know that hardened arteries are found in people who lived thousands of years ago and far from being due to lifestyle it’s part of the process of aging.

      Apparently we are less able to make nitric oxide from the amino acid L Arginine as we get older.

      However, it seems that we smokers cheat.

      Nitric oxide: From menace to marvel of the decade – 1996

      “Previously, nitric oxide was regarded as an environmental pollutant and little else: at best a chemically reactive nuisance, at worst a poison. In the exhaust fumes of cars it reacted readily with oxygen to produce smog, increasing the risk of asthma. When discharged into the atmosphere from power station chimneys it contributed to the ecological damage from acid rain.”

      “Consequently, a response bordering on disbelief greeted the discovery that cells lining the walls of blood vessels, endothelial cells, intentionally synthesised nitric oxide as a muscle relaxant. The molecule is short-lived, and a constant supply is generated by endothelial cells in response to the sheer stress of the blood flow on the artery wall. The notion that such a noxious little molecule should also hold a key to a healthy body and mind was counter-intuitive, and is still disconcerting to some people.”

      http: //web.archive.org/web/20061129131744/http://www.absw.org.uk/Briefings/Nitric+oxide.htm
      Now missing but available from other sources.

      Nitric oxide yields of cigarettes – 1996

      http://web.archive.org/web/20070609163412/http://www.advisorybodies.doh.gov.uk/scoth/technicaladvisorygroup/96yieldno.pdf

      • prog says:

        It was quite strange really. My mother was bit of a food fad – no butter, minimal meat etc because she wanted to keep her cholesterol down. This was way above my father’s who wouldn’t eat margarine (which he dismissed as ‘axle grease’ – army slang), ate plenty of meat and deserts/pastries etc, and was well ‘insulated’ (what zealots would describe today as obese). Everything she fed him failed to raise his cholesterol to her level, much to his amusement and her bewilderment (cynics might say she was trying to kill him…).

        Anyway, he outlived her by 12 years (died at 89) having quit smoking in the 70s (at mother’s and sister’s insistence). He used to get a pack of 10 Gold Leaf a day from the fag machine on the wall at next door shop (or got me to), and only smoke them in the evening in front of the telly. I can’t ever recall seeing him smoke in public nor at any other time of day. Clearly a habit rather than an addiction. He eventually quit at the drop of a metaphorical rolling pin, Sorry – ‘hat’.

        Oh yeah, his twin brother, tall and slender, regular tennis player died about the same time as mother (c.76). Literally dropped dead of a heart attack in the Iron Bridge museum. Still, if you’ve gotta go…

        More recently, a friend with high cholesterol was advised to cut out all the ‘bad’ things’. I later asked him if the level had dropped. I’ll leave you to guess his reply….

        • Rose says:

          Logic originally caused me to question the anti fat movement, how can something made in a lab possibly better for you than natural foods that we have eaten for thousands of years and to which our bodies are adapted.

          A dear friend of mine and I had so many disputes over this that in order to maintain the friendship, we decided not to discuss the matter any more and that whoever survived the other could stand at the side of the grave and whisper “I told you so”.
          When the time came, I was just too sad to even think about doing such a thing.

          She was low fat everything and drank wine, I eat a more traditional diet and smoke.

          But “If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by.”

          And shortly after, the originator of all these lectures and disinformation did.

          Google Ancel Keys and fat. The cherry picked study, the propaganda, the elevation to positions of authority to force the theory on the American public and then the World.

          The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease

          “The dubious science behind the anti-fat crusade”

          “Our distrust of saturated fat can be traced back to the 1950s, to a man named Ancel Benjamin Keys, a scientist at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Keys was formidably persuasive and, through sheer force of will, rose to the top of the nutrition world—even gracing the cover of Time magazine—for relentlessly championing the idea that saturated fats raise cholesterol and, as a result, cause heart attacks.”
          http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303678404579533760760481486

          More recently, a friend with high cholesterol was advised to cut out all the ‘bad’ things

          It would be interesting to know what they are, over time the advice alters constantly.

          Vegetarians are ‘less healthy and have a lower quality of life than meat-eaters’, scientists say
          April 2014

          “Vegetarians are less healthy than meat-eaters, a controversial study has concluded, despite drinking less, smoking less and being more physically active than their carnivorous counterparts.

          A study conducted by the Medical University of Graz in Austria found that the vegetarian diet, as characterised by a low consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol, due to a higher intake of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products, appeared to carry elevated risks of cancer, allergies and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.”
          http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/vegetarians-are-less-healthy-and-have-a-lower-quality-of-life-than-meateaters-scientists-say-9236340.html

  13. Someone could easily photoshop that photo, taking out the glasses of wine, and adding in a cigarette between each person’s index finger and middle finger, it’s almost as if the opposite has been done!

    • Frank Davis says:

      They’ve all only got one hand in sight. Could be that the image is cropped, and if all the other hands became visible, they’d all be holding cigarettes…

      But it’s still an awful fake image anyway.

  14. magnetic01 says:

    Nadine Ramsay appears to be the one questioning at least bits of the intended ordinance:

    District C City Councilmember Nadine Ramsey — whose district covers the Vieux Carre — already is moving to exempt some businesses in the Quarter from Cantrell’s measure, with mixed success.

    http://www.bestofneworleans.com/blogofneworleans/archives/2014/12/16/ramsey-moves-to-exempt-some-businesses-from-proposed-smoking-ordinance

    There are hardly any comments to any of the facebook posts. One of the rare comments is on Dec 15 – this comment and reply:

    Joel Nitzkin While supportive of the concept of smoke-free air, the ordinance itself, as currently written, includes a number of technical errors that will both reduce its chance of passage and its efficacy in improving the health of the public, if passed. I would welcome the opportunity to meet and discuss this with those who advised on the drafting of the ordinance. Joel L. Nitzkin, MD

    SnokeFreeNOLA Thank you! We will email you tomorrow

    https://www.facebook.com/SmokeFreeNOLA

  15. harleyrider1978 says:

    This show U.S. Marshalls going after federal fugitives these guys in just this one on tv Ive seen he Feds smoking at least 7 times now in their cars and trucks and outside where ever they were going.

  16. Rose says:

    Smoking banned in cars when children are present

    Smoking in cars with children is set be outlawed in England from next October under Government plans. ”

    “Under the plans, a fine of £50 will be issued to people who smoke, or who fail to prevent smoking, in private vehicles containing children.

    MPs will vote on the issue before the election”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/11299568/Smoking-banned-in-cars-when-children-are-present.html

    “MPs will vote on the issue before the election”

    So that should help weed those MP’s with unhealthy prohibitionist tendencies out.

    • Rose says:

      “Campaign group Action on Smoking and Health welcomed plans to outlaw smoking in cars with children but called for a blanket ban covering adults in vehicles as well.”
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2877809/Smokers-light-children-car-face-fined-50-new-Government-crack-down.html

      So if Deborah Arnott and co get their way, a married couple parked up in a layby can be prosecuted for enjoying a cigarette while sitting in their own car.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Rose, thanks for that link!!! I am feeling rather angry and baffled and extremely sad – and helpless tonight. Two hours ago I received a text that I will see my youngest offspring for a couple of hours on Saturday because he will attend his friend’s little brother’s funeral.
      Another youngster who decided to end his life. (The third this year, the first two were friends of my middle child).

      If the nanny state produces such a great life WHY do youngsters choose to opt out???

      It is time to ask the anti-smoker zealots some questions – after all, it’s the ‘chiiiiiildren’ they abuse to make life for everyone else as uncomfortable as possible.

  17. harleyrider1978 says:

    Well they’re also using prostitution to boost the GDP in the UK https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H1P_0Sh2tE and I assume Harper will do the same. The man is a complete weasel protected by the media

    Illegal sex and drugs trade to be included in calculating British GDP – economy

    It seems Britain’s economy is doing better than…

    youtube.com

  18. harleyrider1978 says:

    Yep now there after Alcohol big time it appears

    Researchers begin campaign to increase the legal drinking age to 25

    Convictions for driving under the influence have become flat after most of the states in the United Sates adopted a legal blood alcohol content of 0.08 and increased the minimum legal drinking age to 21 years of age. James C. Fell from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Calverton, Maryland and Gregory Bloss with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism examined data from police stops in an effort to determine what measures best prevent drunk driving. The study was reported in the Dec. 16, 2015, edition of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

    Justin Bieber was charged with drunken driving, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license after Miami Beach Police found the pop star street racing on Jan. 23, 2014.

    Photo by Handout/Getty Images

    The researchers admit to polling politicians at the national and state level to increase the legal drinking age to 25 and lower the legal blood alcohol content to 0.05 percent. Finding no political support for their cause, the experts examined what has worked best in preventing drunk driving. The researchers show that the rate of traffic stops and the number of DUI convictions had the greatest deterrent effect on drinking and driving over the last 25 years. All communities that had an increased police presence had a lower rate of drinking and driving.

    The exploratory investigation aimed to find out what worked best in the past. The future the researchers propose means higher taxes for increasing police presence. The data for the analysis was taken from the National Roadside Survey and included traffic stops where individuals had a blood alcohol content of more than 0.05 percent.

    The study lays the groundwork for an increase in the legal drinking age to 25 years of age and a reduction in the legal driving limit of alcohol to 0.05 percent. The report reminds people that over 10.000 people in the United States are killed every year as a result of drunken driving. The lower limit for blood alcohol content appears to be the best way to go. Raising the legal drinking age to 25 will make Prohibition look like a house party.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/researchers-begin-campaign-to-increase-the-legal-drinking-age-to-25

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Financier of Temperance

      by David J. Hanson, Ph.D.

      The temperance-oriented Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) “seeks to drive adult beverage consumption underground, away from mainstream culture and public places.” 1 It attempts to stigmatize alcohol, de-legitimize drinking, marginalize drinkers, and create a de facto quasi-prohibition of the legal product.

      The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation spent over a quarter of a billion (that’s billion, not million) dollars ($265,000,000.00) in just four years alone further developing and funding a nation-wide network of anti-alcohol organizations, centers, activist leaders, and opinion writers to promote its long-term goal.

      An in-depth report, Behind the Neo-Prohibition Campaign: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, demonstrates that “nearly every study disparaging adult beverages in the mass media, every legislative push to limit alcohol marketing or increase taxes, and every supposedly ‘grassroots’ anti-alcohol organization” is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 2 The foundation supports numerous temperance-oriented activists and groups including:
      • The Rand Corporation, whose studies in support of roadblocks and limiting access to alcohol are funded by RWJF.
      • The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), now calling itself the National Center on Addictions and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, whose many flawed studies have been widely refuted. CASA has received more than $35 million from RWJF since 1991.
      • The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY), which exists for one purpose: to accuse alcohol ads of “targeting’ underage drinkers” and “create public outrage” against them. RWJF established CAMY with a $5 million grant.
      • The Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention (HEC), which argues for “changing people’s knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions regarding alcohol use,” It also supports “reducing alcohol availability” and “reducing alcohol promotion and marketing.” HEC — an agency of the federal government — receives “supplemental” funding from RWJF.
      • Ralph Hingson, formerly Vice President for Public Policy at Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), who published a deeply flawed report claiming that alcohol causes 1,400 deaths among college students each year. These findings were repudiated by the federal government’s General Accountability Office or GAO. Hingson received a $300,000 fellowship from RWJF.
      •Jim Gogek, an editorial writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune, who wrote an op-ed in The New York Times accusing the governors of Maryland, New York and New Jersey of being bought and paid for by the alcohol industry because they oppose even higher ‘sin’ taxes. Gogek is paid $25,000 a year by RWJF.
      • Richard Yoast, who wrote a report called “The Alcohol Industry: Partner or Foe?” that argues there are two kinds of people: those who abuse alcohol, and those who abstain. The former shouldn’t have access to it, the argument goes, and the latter won’t care if you take it away. Yoast heads the American Medical Association’s Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse. RWJF has given nearly $6 million to Yoast’s office. 3
      • Henry Wechsler, who has received about $6,500,000 to date from RWJF to fund his College Alcohol Study project, in which he insists on using the misleading term “binge” to describe behavior that needn’t even be intoxicated. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation gave Wechsler about one million dollars just to publicize his inflated “binge” data and anti-alcohol recommendations. That obviously buys a lot of news coverage. For more, visit Henry Wechsler.

      Other major parts of the Foundation’s temperance-oriented network include The Alcohol Policies Project, run by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the Marin Institute, the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, the Trauma Foundation, Join Together Online, Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free, 4 ImpacTeen, Fighting Back, A Matter of Degree, 5 and Henry Wechsler’s College Alcohol Study project (often called the Harvard College Study).

      A “teen” protest against alcohol advertising held in Washington at the Beer Institute was well-covered in news reports. However, virtually none of the reports revealed that the protest was actually organized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 6

      Similarly, the following is a list of what appear to be grassroots organizations dedicated to reducing or preventing underage alcohol use:
      •Pennsylvanians Against Underage Drinking
      •Texans Standing Tall – A Statewide Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking
      •Louisiana Alliance to Prevent Underage Drinking
      •Oregon Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking
      •Missouri’s Youth/Adult Alliance Against Underage Drinking
      •National Capital Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking
      •Minnesota Join Together Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking
      •Georgia Alcohol Policy Partnership
      •Puerto Rico Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking
      •Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking
      •Partners to Reduce Underage Drinking in North Carolina
      •Connecticut Coalition to Stop Underage Drinking

      In reality, all of these groups are part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s nation-wide program to influence alcohol policy at both the state and federal levels.

      These state organizations (many would call them “front groups”) are useful in opposing alcohol at the state and local level. For example, the Georgia Alcohol Policy Partnership appeared on the scene as soon as Six Flags Over Georgia sought permission for restricted beer sale only at certain times in its theatre and nowhere else within the entire park Its proposal resulted from consumer demand and an attempt to stay competitive with other theme parks. Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens and Universal Studies have all served beer for years throughout their parks without problems.

      In spite of this, the Georgia Alcohol Policy Partnership opposed even such limited sales of alcohol, claiming that it would lead to underage drinking and various safety hazards. 7 This position appears to be motivated by a temperance agenda rather than an objective assessment of the facts. Of course, it does promote the goals of the funder, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

      The enormous Robert Wood Johnson Foundation not only spends very aggressively from its multi-billion dollar war chest to promote its agenda, but is also willing to engage in activities that appear unethical, if not actually illegal. 8 Apparently, the ends are seen as justifying the means to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

      To learn more, see Behind the Neo-Prohibition Campaign: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

    • XX The study lays the groundwork for an increase in the legal drinking age to 25 years of age and a reduction in the legal driving limit of alcohol to 0.05 percent. XX

      Which is basically useless.

      How is raising the age limit going to cure anything, when most of the storys you see in the media are about bastards WAY under the legal drinking age drinking themselves into comas anyway?

      As to the driving limits, They that have accidents due to being pissed are, from anecdotal and personal experience, WAY over the limit we have now. Lowering it will not stop accidents, it will only fill the dictatorships coffers.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        FT back about 2002 I saw a BBC news run and it was showing all the drinker pissers in the streets of London and elsewhere being total public vermin from their statements.

        The other part of the news feed was he then Labor government had plans in the future to deal with this so called public health problem as they called it………..

        Now we know what they meant.

  19. harleyrider1978 says:

    Search Engine: Doctors or Hospital Who have Received Money from Pharmacuetical Companies?

    http://vaccineliberationarmy.com/2014/12/16/search-engine-doctor-hospital-received-money-pharmacuetical-companies/

    I ran a few of our Fvaorite Nazis but nothing came back have a try……

    http://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/

  20. harleyrider1978 says:

    ‘Restaurants and bars are private places. They have owners, just like homes. Restaurant and bar owners should be able to set smoking rules for their establishments, much like you can set smoking rules in your own household.

    Nobody forces a customer into a particular restaurant or bar; drinkers and diners are free to choose among the alternatives available, each of which has a unique environment, including its set of smoking rules. Discussions about “smoker’s rights vs. nonsmoker’s rights” miss the fundamental issue: restaurant and bar owners’ property rights.’

    • smokervoter says:

      Those top two paragraphs say it all.

      Harley, you should copy those 84 words to a simple little text file and use it as a quick left jab counterpunch-comment in your next 15-rounder with the Nicotine Nazis.

      It’s short, to-the-point and it sticks in people’s heads.

      It sums up succinctly the internal/integral thought bubble that went through my Everyday Carpenter brain the first time I ever heard mention of a bar smoking ban.

      • smokervoter says:

        I’ve got a foggy memory of an Alaska Supreme Court ruling which opined that, no, you can’t do anything you wish in your home, i.e. you can’t allow prostitution or cocaine use therein for example.

        As long as you’re old enough, you can walk into a store in all 50 states and buy and then smoke a cigarette (well, outside anyway). It happens millions of times everyday. You can’t buy a hooker or a gigolo (except in parts of Nevada) anywhere that I know of. Nor can you buy a line of coke. There’s a difference.

  21. garyk30 says:

    “Of course, it was the smoking that killed her.”

    So they say; but, smoking has never been listed on a ‘Death Certificate’ as the ’cause of death’.
    Any doctor that says they have listed tobacco use as the ’cause’ of death on a death certificate is either lying or guilty of fraud.

    The most that could be said is that, in some ones ‘opinion’, tobacco use ‘contributed’ to death.

    3 things about death:

    1) Why some one died
    2) Manner of death
    3) Cause of death

    “Why” would be heart failure, lung failure, or their brain stopped functioning.
    Since the death certificate is about the ’causes’ of death, why they died will never be shown.
    It would be evident from the ’causes’.

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/death11-03final-acc.pdf

    Manner of Death will show up in ITEM 37, and be listed as natural, accidental, suicide, or etc.

    Cause of death starts at line 32
    Part 1.
    a. IMMEDIATE CAUSE(Final disease or condition resulting in death)
    b. c.d, and etc sequence of diseases or injuries that lead to line a.

    PART II
    Diseases or conditions contributing to death that were not reported in the chain of events in Line I and that did not result in the underlying cause of death.

    ITEM 35
    Did tobacco use contribute to death?
    Check ‘yes’ if, in your opinion, tobacco use contributed to death.

    • garyk30 says:

      SHS could only show up in ITEM 35, and would still be just an opinion about contribution and not a proven cause.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        It must be proven biologically not metaphorically. The Did tobacco use contribute to death? part was forced onto many states certificates as a means to create more propaganda thru the years. They even admitted as much a few years back. I just don’t have that piece any longer.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          The ACS did it is the who!

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Death certificates are required to name both the primary cause of death…eg breakdown of bodily organs, AND the secondary cause, if known…eg ebola virus.
          These causes of death must be proven by biological evidence before they can be added to a death certificate, hence the lack of death certificates with ETS as a cause…as they’d be based purely on speculation and not on biological evidence

    • beobrigitte says:

      So they say; but, smoking has never been listed on a ‘Death Certificate’ as the ’cause of death’.

      They are working on that one. Young medics who want to progress in their jobs will have to state that smoking WAS a direct cause of old people’s death.

      The anti-smokers are SICK people.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Theyd have to prove the end points and they tried for over 60 years and failed everytime.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          JOINT STATEMENT ON THE RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE TOXICOLOGICAL TESTING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS”
          7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18
          November 2004.

          http://cot.food.gov.uk/pdfs/co

          “5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke – induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease.”

          In other words … our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can’t even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact … we don’t even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

          The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.

  22. harleyrider1978 says:

    Smoke signals

    The Big Easy contemplates banishing smokers to the pavement

    Dec 20th 2014 | NEW ORLEANS

    IN A bar at the edge of the French Quarter, Voltaire Casino, a 30-something teacher, sips a beer, sucks on a cigarette and discusses politics. Jazz is in the air and the ceiling is a haze of fumes: it is a picture New Orleans has sold to the world for decades. Yet soon the glowing red tips may be extinguished—or at least forced outside. After years of failing to ban smoking in bars and casinos across the state of Louisiana, campaigners have turned their attention to winning a municipal ban in the Big Easy. A local councilwoman has written a proposal: a vote is due by March.

    Louisiana is far from the only holdout—and it has at least banned smoking in restaurants and offices. Across America, 24 states have not enacted full anti-smoking laws, banning smoking in restaurants, bars and workplaces, according to the American Non Smokers’ Rights Foundation, a pressure group. Most are in the South, where smoking rates are higher (see map). Nationally, 19% of Americans puff away, but in Louisiana 24% of adults do.

    James Varney, a columnist on the Times- Picayune, a paper in New Orleans, argues that “end-of-the-line dives require a haze of cigarette smoke”, and that jazz musicians would never have looked so cool without their burning tabs in hand. Some bar owners say that they will be put out of business. A few local politicians worry pragmatically that revenue from the city’s many casinos will fall away if yellow-fingered gamblers cannot burn tobacco as they burn money.

    Yet smokers themselves seem less than outraged. Mr Casino says that a ban in his favourite watering holes would be irksome, but “it’s not gonna stop me from drinking”. At another dive bar in the southwest of the city, Seth, a heavily tattooed smoker in a fleur-de-lis baseball cap, says that a ban “would hurt a little, I guess, but I’d just go outside”. In New Orleans, licensing laws are fairly loose: many bars run until dawn. If bar owners really were determined to allow people to smoke, it seems unlikely that a ban would stop them.

    Already, in fact, non-smokers have plenty of places to go. Healthier Air For All, a Louisiana pressure group, lists over 100 joints in the city where drinkers can avoid returning home stinking of fumes. Indeed, many of the city’s best jazz bars operate with restaurant licences. Jazz fans these days are fairly likely to be prissy liberals with an aversion to death sticks. In the end, that will do for the city’s smoky culture as much as meddling government

    http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21636781-big-easy-contemplates-banishing-smokers-pavement-smoke-signals

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      Essentially the piece views smokers as a deviant minority that is so demoralized from division and oppression that it won’t even stand up for it self. Or that could be double minority: drinker-smoker. That betrays the Puritan bias.

      The false data, propaganda, and mainstream media biases need to be dismantled. It seems the bulk of reportage does not report the issues but rather trumpets the prohibitionist line! Seems like 1939!

    • Joe L. says:

      The quote from “Seth” in this article heightens my concern that there won’t be much of a fight put up by younger smokers in New Orleans for two reasons:

      1.) Open containers of alcohol are allowed on the streets of the city.
      2.) It never gets very cold there.

      Thus, an indoor smoking ban would be less of an inconvenience to smokers in New Orleans than pretty much anywhere else, which I’m afraid will translate into even more complacency than usual. I hope I’m wrong.

      • Smoking Lamp says:

        The article misses that the proposed ban also seeks to ban smoking outdoors in the French Quarter, Frenchmans, and the CBD. All of the districts with intense nightlife, plus parks, squares, and the casino. The NOLA ban is actually an indoor/outdoor ban.

  23. harleyrider1978 says:

    CDC smoking rates another reason its a lie…….people lie and on purpose

    Just like blackmarket cigarettes…………….smoking rates dint go down the just bought them blackmarket instead and they cant count legal sales as meaning lowered rates any longer. Much less zreocare making people lie in phone inteviews with CDC in fear they will get busted over obamacare higher premiums for lying about smoking status on cross referenced data via the phone number.

    Insurance smoking fee could spur another vice: Lying about doing it

    Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Americans looking to buy health insurance no longer have to answer questions about whether they’ve suffered diabetes, cancer or heart problems.

    Do you have a chronically sore back, a bum knee or a growing paunch? Don’t worry. Starting next year, insurers no longer will be allowed to hold such pre-existing troubles against you.

    But insurance companies may still ask about one health-related issue: tobacco use. If applicants ’fess up that they smoke or chew tobacco regularly, insurers can charge them up to 50 percent extra for premiums. That could amount to hundreds of dollars per month for some consumers.

    Des Moines tobacco shop owner Rich Bartlett expressed annoyance when he heard about the rule last month.

    “There’s a lot of people who make bad lifestyle choices. Why focus on one bad lifestyle choice?” he said. “You would think something like obesity could be in the same category. To just focus on smokers doesn’t seem fair.”

    Bartlett, who is a smoker, noted that the state and federal governments already have repeatedly raised cigarette taxes. Those taxes now run $2.36 per pack in Iowa, plus a 6 percent sales tax. That adds up to about $900 per year for a pack-a-day smoker, he said, which should be enough of a penalty.

    The premium surcharge will mainly affect people who buy their own health insurance instead of obtaining it through an employer or a government program.

    Some policies offered through employers also require a smoker surcharge.

    Full 50% surcharge allowed in Iowa

    Some states declined to let insurers charge extra premiums to tobacco users.

    Some other states lowered the allowed amount of the surcharge. But Iowa and most other states are allowing the full 50 percent surcharge.

    Iowa insurers vary in how much extra they’ll charge.

    CoOportunity Health, a new Iowa insurance carrier, is charging 49 percent extra. Cliff Gold, the company’s chief operating officer, said the premiums are justified because of the increased medical costs many tobacco users incur.

    Gold noted that tobacco users can avoid the extra premiums by agreeing to participate in tobacco-cessation efforts. For CoOportunity policyholders, that would entail participating online in three 20-minute educational sessions over two months. Participants also would be offered free stop-smoking aids, such as nicotine replacement patches or gum.

    “We certainly hope that people will go through with that process,” Gold said.

    Tobacco users who participate in the education sessions but fail to kick the habit would qualify for the lower premiums until the beginning of the next year, Gold said. Then, they could either retake the tobacco-cessation classes or pay the higher premium.

    Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which is Iowa’s largest health insurer, has set its 2014 premiums about 15 percent higher for people who say they use tobacco.

    “We’re trying to find a balance, because the more you charge, the more you’re encouraging people to not tell you the truth,” said David Brown, a Wellmark vice president.

    Brown doubts that increased health insurance premiums would lead many people to quit smoking. He noted how taxes have pushed up the habit’s cost. A pack of cigarettes can now fetch $7 or $8.

    “If that hasn’t put you over the edge, I don’t know if this will,” he said of the insurance premiums.

    Agent: ‘No way of enforcing’ honesty

    Both insurers acknowledged they will have to trust applicants to report their tobacco use truthfully.

    The enforcement issue is particularly thorny because of the way federal officials worded the question that insurance applicants must answer. The applicants are not asked a yes-or-no question about whether they use tobacco or not. Instead, they are asked if they use tobacco four or more times a week.

    “Isn’t that the dumbest question ever? There’s no way of enforcing it. None,” said Janis Van Ahn, a Johnston health insurance agent.

    Even if insurers could test applicants for the presence of nicotine, an applicant could claim that a positive result stemmed from the three Marlboros he allows himself each Friday night outside his favorite bar.

    How would an insurer disprove such a tale? Hire a private investigator to trail Mr. Three-Cigs-a-Week? Not likely.

    West Des Moines health insurance broker Lynn Schreder said agents were stunned to learn earlier this year about the tobacco question’s wording.

    “We were like, ‘Are you kidding me? Are we supposed to enforce this with a straight face?’ ” she said. “Why are they even bothering?”

    The situation is different in the life insurance marketplace. Before consumers can purchase those policies, they routinely undergo urine or saliva tests that check for nicotine.

    But such a test would be useless for health insurance purposes because of the way the new question is worded.

    “If you say you’re not a smoker, it’s kind of the honor system,” Schreder said. “I’m not going to come back and track you and follow you to see if you’re smoking.”

    Gold, the CoOportunity Health executive, agreed that it would be hard to judge the truthfulness of applicants who deny regular tobacco use.

    But he said such people could wind up in serious trouble if they are caught somehow.

    If they falsify their insurance applications, he said, “they’re committing fraud, and theoretically, they could be prosecuted.”

    Cancer Society opposed surcharge

    Surprisingly enough, the American Cancer Society opposed letting insurers charge extra to tobacco users.

    “It is a bit counterintuitive, but when you get down to it, we’re anti-smoking for sure, but we’re not anti-smoker,” said David Woodmansee, an associate director of the national group.

    Woodmansee, who is the Cancer Society’s point man on the Affordable Care Act, expressed fears that smokers would decline to purchase insurance after seeing the high premiums they face for 2014.

    They could be allowed to make that choice, because people whose premiums would amount to more than 9.5 percent of their income will be exempted from the new requirement that most Americans obtain health insurance next year.

    The situation could leave people without coverage for serious illnesses related to smoking, Woodmansee said. “In fact, tobacco users tend to need health insurance more than nonsmokers do.”

    He added that if the higher premiums induce smokers to lie on their insurance applications, they could later be unable to seek medical help if they decide to try quitting.

    “It really creates a Catch-22,” he said.

    Similarly, the Cancer Society has mixed feelings about the three-smokes-a-week loophole in the Affordable Care Act’s definition of a smoker. Of course, he said, the organization wants people to avoid any smoking, because even an occasional cigarette or dip of chewing tobacco can lead to addiction.

    On the other hand, he said, he would not want someone to go without health insurance because of premiums that were inflated by a Saturday night cigarette now and then.

    Bartlett, the Des Moines tobacco shop owner, pays about $550 per month for a health insurance policy for himself, his wife and their three children. He hasn’t looked into where his rates are headed for next year.

    If need be, he said, he could quit smoking to avoid a surcharge. He’s done it before, but it isn’t easy, especially when he stands in front of a wall of cigarette cartons all day at work.

    Bartlett predicted that instead of giving up cigarettes, many people will turn to another common bad habit.

    “They’ll just lie,” he said. “You know they will.”

    http://archive.desmoinesregister.com/article/20131201/NEWS/312010065/Insurance-smoking-fee-could-spur-another-vice-Lying-about-doing-it

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